January 4, 2013; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Clippers point guard Chris Paul (3) shoots the ball against the defense of Los Angeles Lakers center Dwight Howard (12) during the second half at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
ESPN.com has reported that league sources have said that Dwight Howard and Chris Paul have been in consistent communication about the possibility of teaming up next season.
Both Howard and Paul are scheduled to be unrestricted free agents beginning July 1, and both are on the Houston Rockets radar.
“They would love to play together if somebody can make it happen,” one of the sources said.
If Howard is serious about this, then it could make a big impact in the Rockets’ chances of getting the all-star center. While it wouldn’t be completely impossible for Houston to restructure their salary cap to potentially fit both player’s contracts, it would be a challenge for general manager Daryl Morey and the front office to find ways to accomplish that.
The Atlanta Hawks are one of the few teams who have enough salary cap space to sign both Howard and Paul to max-contracts, a destination that both players have expressed interest in already. Atlanta is Howard’s hometown and is not too far from Winsten-Salem, North Carolina, where Paul played in his college days at Wake Forest.
But according to the sources, the preference for both players would be to play together for the Los Angeles Clippers. Because the Clippers don’t have enough cap room to sign Howard as a free agent, it would take a sign-and-trade deal with the Lakers to make that happen.
If that’s the case, then the Clippers would most certainly have to include Blake Griffin in the deal, and possibly, Eric Bledsoe too, as he is the best trade asset the Clippers have.
Looks like it’ll be another summer of Dwight-drama.